Real meals are back in American Airlines first class which is to say we no longer suffer from shrink-wrapped turkey or pimiento cheese sandwiches.
Earlier in the month hot meals returned to first class on flights of 1500 miles or longer. The roll out went surprisingly smoothly. And now meals – albeit a charcuterie plate or vegetarian sandwich on pretzel croissant at lunch – are returning to flights 900-1499 miles in distance. That’s a step forward.
Predeparture beverages are supposed to be back. Preorder meal service will return to domestic first class in April. Special meal pre-order returns in May (Asian, Vegetarian, Diabetic, Hindu, Kosher, Gluten Intolerant, Muslim, or Vegan).
This American Airlines-provided image shows the charcuterie plate. It also shows a cut-off chocolate bundt cake, which it turns out they’re making a bigger deal of than I’d expected.
Credit: American Airlines
American has a video promoting the desserts in domestic first class on flights of 900-1499 miles isn’t about how delicious the bundt cakes are, it’s about how transformative the procurement is for this woman- and minority-owned business.
That’s great as far as it goes, though I’d prefer a more ‘food forward’ approach. Talk about the cakes and how great they are, and then tell me the story of the people behind the scenes delivering them on board. The lack of any mention of deliciousness in the video stands out.
A bundt cake is probably better than the chocolate chip cookie, at least better than any they’ve served since US Airways catering standards went into effect in 2014. Nothing will replace the smell of baked-on-board cookies wafting through the cabin from the pre-merger days, however.
Of course there’s still no buy on board or alcohol service in coach (whether complimentary in Main Cabin Extra or for sale) and that’s true even as Southwest has brought alcohol service back on its flights. American has said alcohol won’t return to coach until the federal mask mandate ends.